The game was an important one for Mick Harper, who felt like it gave him two big players as the team fully enters region play.
“There were two key things we learned today,” Harper said. “We feel we have a solid No. 2 starter in MJ Rookard and we have a tough run producer at the plate in Mason Tritt.”
Rookard took the win on the mound. He threw all seven innings, allowing three earned runs. He struck out five and walked four.
Led by Tritt at the plate, the Panthers out-hit Central 12-7. Tritt went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and one run scored.
Taking a lead early in the game, Chapel Hill pushed three runs across the plate in the first inning. With one out, Ryan Moffett doubled down the leftfield line and scored on a Brandon Whiteford single to center. Mason Tritt then homered to left to put the Panthers up 3-0.
Central fought back, scoring one run in each of the next three innings. In the bottom of the first, Spencer Lewis doubled and scored on a Wesley Long groundout after advancing to third on an error. Avery Gaines led off the second inning with a double and scored on a single by Ryan Helton. In the third, Lewis singled to left, advanced to third on an error, and scored on a Gaines single to center.
After a scoreless fourth inning, the Panthers pushed two runs across the plate in the fifth. Whiteford reached base first after being hit by a pitch and advanced all the way to third on a pair of errors. With two outs, Eric Lloyd singled, scoring the run. Jason Phillips walked and then Jason Rodriquez singled to center, scoring Lloyd for the second run of the inning.
Chapel Hill scored one more run in the top of the fifth. MJ Rookard singled to center and stole second. After a Whiteford walk, Tritt singled to left, brining home Rookard.
Chapel Hill’s Rookard, Lloyd, and Rodriquez had two hits each.
Gaines led the offense for Central, going 3-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Lewis and Helton also had multi-hit games.
Adam Kinnard took the loss for the Lions. He allowed five runs, two earned, over 4-2/3 innings. He gave up eight hits, struck out four and walked two. Gaines threw the final 2-1/3 innings. He allowed one run off of four hits, striking out three and walking one.
The Panthers will be back in action today when they host Chapel Hill at 5:55 p.m.
Lithia Springs at Rome
Lithia allowed seven runs in the first inning at Rome Tuesday and went on to fall 11-1 in six innings.
The Lions scored their lone run in the top of the fifth when Isaiah Franks tripled and then scored on a throw to first by the catcher after a dropped third strike call.
GArrett Voyles started the game and took the loss, allowing nine runs in four innings. BJ LaVigne allowed two runs over the final two innings.
The Lions will take the field again today when they host New Manchester at 5:55 p.m.